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June 1980

β-Endorphin: Intravenous Infusion Causes Behavioral Change in Psychiatric Inpatients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Neuropsychiatric Institute (Dr Gerner), the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology (Drs Catlin and Hui), and the Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacology (Dr Gorelick), Center for the Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles; and the Hormone Research Laboratory, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Li).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(6):642-647. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780190040005

• Ten depressed and eight schizophrenic patients received synthetic human β-endorphin infusions in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Physicians' and nurses' ratings and patients' self-ratings were used to measure behavioral change. Depressed patients improved significantly two to four hours after β-endorphin treatment when compared with placebo treatment. There was no significant change in the schizophrenic patients as a group, although six of eight worsened after β-endorphin treatment. No significant behavioral effects were observed during the infusions themselves or on postinfusion days.

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